In re the Marriage of Carol Crosley Morgan, Appellant, and Carter Edward Morgan, Appellee.
Opinion Announced June 28, 2018 WITHDRAWN
PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED AS “NOT PUBLISHED PURSUANT TO
C.A.R. 35(e)” ON June 28, 2018, IS NOW DESIGNATED FOR
County District Court No. 14DR30427 Honorable Ryan L. Kamada,
Law, LLC, Sharlene J. Aitken, Denver, Colorado; Ericka J.A.
Fowler, Boulder, Colorado, for Appellant
Antolinez Miller LLC, Joseph H. Antolinez, Melissa E. Miller,
Centennial, Colorado, for Appellee
1 In this dissolution of marriage proceeding, Carol Crosley
Morgan (mother) appeals that portion of the permanent orders
allocating parental responsibilities for her two minor
children with Carter Edward Morgan (father). We reverse the
parenting time order and remand for the magistrate to enter a
new parenting time order based on mother's stated
intention to relocate to California. In all other respects,
2 Well before the permanent orders hearing, mother notified
the magistrate that she wished to move with the children to
California. She sought orders that would name her the
children's primary residential parent and decision-maker.
3 The parents agreed that Dr. Kevin Albert would conduct a
parental responsibilities evaluation (PRE) to assess the
parenting issues, including mother's proposed move. Dr.
Albert recommended that the children be allowed to relocate
to California with mother and that she should have sole
4 At father's request, the magistrate appointed Beth
Lieberman to perform a supplemental PRE. Ms. Lieberman
recommended that the children remain in Colorado with father
with shared decision-making responsibilities with mother.
5 After a two-day evidentiary hearing, the magistrate ordered
the children to remain in Colorado. He found that their best
interests would be served if the parents exercised equal
parenting time, with mutual decision-making responsibilities.
Magistrate Did Not Follow Spahmer
6 When, as here, a parent indicates before permanent orders
that she intends to move, a district court has no statutory
authority to order her to live in a specific location.
See Spahmer v. Gullette, 113 P.3d 158, 162 (Colo.
2005). Rather, "in the initial determination of parental
responsibilities . . . a [district] court must accept the
location in which each party intends to live, and allocate
parental responsibilities, including parenting time,
accordingly." Id. at 164; see also
§ 14-10-124(1.5)(a)(VIII), C.R.S. 2017 (requiring the
court to consider "[t]he physical proximity of the
parties to each other as this relates to the practical
considerations of parenting time").
7 Mother contends that the magistrate failed to follow this
principle by entering a parenting time order requiring her to
remain in Colorado. We review de novo whether the magistrate
applied the proper legal standard, see In re Parental